“No diet is ever perfect”. An adequate description of a healthy diet is always different, as each individual’s nutritional needs differ based on metabolism and physical condition. Foods that help a growing child grow and develop may affect an adult with certain medical conditions differently. Sometimes people fall for false advertising and practice unhealthy eating patterns which are a major health problem in this modern era.
Remember that food is an essential key to successful healing, and how we choose it makes a world of difference. It is not enough to feed your body; Instead, eat foods that nourish your soul.
Well, few “daily foods” such as vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and meat products are an essential part of everyone’s diet, without which normal nutrition becomes incomplete. Equally important is maintaining an isocaloric balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure for any physical activity. So it’s time to balance your meals and get on your way.
Emphasis on different food groups and their regular intake in the right amount that the individual needs is considered a balanced diet. The main food groups include grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, fats, and sugars. Studies suggest that diets that include these major food groups and limit or exclude refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and excess salt, with a reduction in the risk of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the main nutrients in food that are regularly used as the main sources of energy. Since the energy yield of each macronutrient is different, a balanced diet is very important to be healthy and energetic. Here are some fun ways to add nutrients to your meal without affecting the taste.
Diet rich in carbohydrates
Sugar, starch, and fiber are the different types of carbohydrates that are found in the diet. Fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, milk and dairy products contain carbohydrates in different forms. Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate, but it helps with proper digestion. Sugar and starch serve as important sources of energy, especially for the brain and the central nervous system. 4 kcal energy yield is obtained from 1 gram of carbohydrates and a normal adult should get 40-60% of his total energy from carbohydrates. As well as providing energy, these foods are good sources of micronutrients. Children can enjoy carbohydrates in any of their main meals as they are easily digested and provide instant energy.
Benefits during pregnancy: It is also considered to be the simplest form of nutrient for providing energy to a pregnant woman, to nourish the growing fetus, and to prevent pregnancy-induced fatigue. They are also the best source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Few carbohydrates, like oats, are beneficial for combating morning sickness in the first trimester. But excess of these foods can lead to obesity and GDM during pregnancy.
- Homemade yogurt with fresh fruits: Mix all fresh fruits together [berries, banana] with homemade curd and garnish with some dry nuts and enjoy.
- Oat and Dried Fruit Ladoo: Roasted oats and any dried fruit, dried nuts, and some healthy seeds of your choice. Add liquid jaggery and tie it to the shape of ladoo and enjoy moderately.
Advantages for children: Acts as fuel for the brain and helps with optimal growth and development.
High protein diet
According to the RDA, a normal person should consume 0.8-1 grams of protein per kg of body weight every day. The requirements are higher for growing children and vary accordingly for a person with a sick condition. Animal sources like meat, eggs, and dairy products are the high biological forms of protein as they provide all of the essential amino acids. Plant sources like beans, seeds, and dals also contain a good amount of protein. Proteins act as the building blocks and also provide the structural support, hormones, enzymes and biochemical catalysts that make it an essential part of every meal. 1 gram of protein provides 4 kcal of energy. A lack of protein leads to malnutrition and other deficiency diseases in both children and adults.
Benefits during pregnancy: It helps prepare maternal tissues for pregnancy. Ensures proper growth and development of fetal tissue.
- Mixed pulse sundial: Soak all the legumes of your choice. Put the oil and spices in a pan. Add onion and soaked legumes. Throw it in a while. Add salt, desiccated coconut and enjoy eating.
- Filled paratha [egg/paneer/soya]: Prepare the egg / paneer / soy bhurji and set aside. Fill the half-rolled chapathi dough with the filling of your choice, fold and roll out completely and cook.
Advantages for children: Crucial element for growth and development of the organ system. Because proteins also make hormones and enzymes and help build the immune system, they are an important part of children’s diets.
- Egg muffins: Put the vegetables of your choice and egg in a cup. Add salt and other spices to taste. Cover with cheese and bake.
- Moong dal halwa: soak the moongdal overnight. Grind it into a smooth paste. Put the ghee in a pan and add the ground paste and stir well until the oil comes out. Add crushed jaggery to taste and keep stirring until the desired consistency is achieved. Garnish with dry nuts and serve.
High fat diet
Good fats are also an essential part of a balanced diet. In addition to generating energy, they have to fulfill various functions in the body. 1 gram of fat provides 9kcal of energy. Studies suggest that reducing saturated fats in the diet is related to lower risk of non-communicable diseases. Oils from seeds, nuts, and fish contain PUFA & MUFA, which help maintain healthy HDL levels and lower bad cholesterol, which is the level of LDL.
Good fats like fish oil, avocado oil, olive oil, ghee, seed oil, etc. are considered safe during pregnancy.
Saturated and trans fats from fried, packaged and processed foods are considered unhealthy and, if consumed regularly, increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Benefits during pregnancy: DHA plays an important role in the neurological development of the fetus, and studies suggest that supplementing with adequate amounts of DHA during pregnancy helps prevent premature birth. Omega-3 fatty acids help treat perinatal depression.
- Whole milk dry nuts payasam: Soak all dry nuts in milk for 2-3 hours. Put the soaked mixture in a blender and make a fine paste. Pour whole milk into a pan, add the ground paste and keep stirring over a low flame. Add sugar / jaggery to taste. Add whole milk to adjust the consistency of Payasam. Enjoy it by topping it with some toasted dry nuts in ghee.
Advantages for children: In addition to providing energy, it helps with the absorption of certain vitamins. Fat is also an important nutrient for brain development in children.
- Chocolate peanut butter shake: Put whole milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, sugar / honey, dry nuts, seeds in a blender and mix well.
- Cheesecake: separate egg whites and yolks. Beat the egg whites well and set aside. Add cream cheese and condensed milk to the egg yolk and stir well. Add the whisked egg whites and mix well. Bake it and enjoy.
How to deal with picky eaters: Meeting the nutritional needs of a picky eater is a challenge in itself. Children with this type of eating behavior should be malnourished because their food choices are limited to just one or a few food groups. Hence, it is a good idea for a caregiver to offer them these high quality foods in a more appetizing manner. Below are the ideas to help satisfy those picky eaters:
- Shredded paneer paratha with vegetable puree.
- Homemade yogurt with fresh fruits and nuts
- Ghee fried / sautéed vegetables
- Egg and vegetable muffins
- Vegetable soups with thick cream
- Chicken donuts
- Pancakes with chocolate and berries
- Almond butter toast
Here’s how to enjoy your favorite recipes the healthy way:
- Pay attention to the portion size.
- Choose complex carbohydrates over refined ones.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Reconsider your sugary / alcoholic drinks
- Say no to extra salt.
- Always use healthy fats. Try to cut the oil consumption by half.
This article was written by Divya R, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru
Also Read: How To Enjoy Chocolate Without Ruining Your Diet
Guiding the way to thrive
Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.
That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.
Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.
Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.
Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.
14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.
“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.
“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.
“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”
Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.
“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.
The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.
“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”
The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.
“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.
“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”
The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.
So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?
“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.
“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”
The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.
Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.
“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.
“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.
“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?
Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.
“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.
“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.
“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.
“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”
To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.
Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.
Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.
She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.
“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.
“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.
“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.
“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.
“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”
14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]
Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains
By Casey Barber, CNN
Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.
The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.
What’s a whole grain?
The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.
On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.
“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”
So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.
And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.
“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.
“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”
Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.
Some whole grains to get to know
amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.
Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.
Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.
kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.
millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.
How to cook any whole grain
While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.
Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.
If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.
The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.
Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel
I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.
The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.
It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.
After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.
Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.
This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).
My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.
I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.
After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.
An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.
After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.
It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.
They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.
There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.
All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.
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Guiding the way to thrive
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